India makes up 6 Applications for the Golden Visa in April 2021

India has been in the news a lot recently due to its struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic, but this ongoing situation has accelerated another trend: the increasing number of the country’s wealthy population looking to emigrate elsewhere.

According to recent data from the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF), of the 98 investors who applied for Portugal’s Golden Visa in April 2021, six of them came from India. That’s around 6.12% of the total number of applications.

Increasing demand for the Golden Visa

India’s current circumstances aren’t the only reason demand is rising for Portugal’s Golden Visa program, which offers investors a fast-track route to European citizenship.

Applications from citizens of other countries have also increased. In April 2021 alone, the program earned €48.4 million from its 98 visa applications — 22% more than it raised in March 2021 and 72% more than in April 2020.

Still, it’s not all good news. Despite the promising results from April, the overall investment in the first four months of 2021 has lagged behind other years. The scheme brought in a total of €647 million in 2020, which is significantly more than the €176 million raised so far this year. Similarly, fewer applications have been approved in 2021 compared to previous years.

But this could change in months to come, especially considering the high number of COVID cases in Portugal earlier this year. Many are expecting an uptick in applications by the summer.

The relocation of India’s rich

It’s not just the Golden Visa that has seen a rise in applications from India. A similar trend has been happening elsewhere, with an increase in Indians applying for visa programs offering residency or citizenship outside their native country (such as those offered by Malta, Cyprus, and Caribbean nations).

According to a Morgan Stanley report, 23,000 millionaires left India between 2014 and 2018. This number is likely to be far higher now, with around 5,000 millionaires leaving the country in 2020. While this might seem like a drop in the ocean for a country with more than one billion people, it’s a significant figure considering millionaires make up a tiny proportion of India’s population.

Many Indian entrepreneurs find it advantageous to obtain foreign visas to avoid red tape and extra charges when conducting business worldwide due to the negative associations with the Indian passport. Now that the pandemic has left the future of India hanging in the balance, the trend has been accelerated, with the wealthy seeking to diversify their lives and operations.

However, India still lags behind the countries making up the highest number of applications to the Golden Visa. In April, the Chinese led the leaderboard, making up 35 applications. Meanwhile, there were 12 applications from Brazil and 9 from the United States. Russians were the fifth highest in the leaderboard, making 5 applications in total.

Looking to join the rising number of applicants?

There’s a good reason for the increasing interest in Portugal’s Golden Visa — the program offers a unique opportunity to obtain residency in a thriving country while gaining access to the rest of Europe. Provided you have access to the necessary capital, it’s one of the most attractive and accessible schemes of its type.

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